Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another take on Oberweis and the 14th

I am starting a new job next week that will leave me with little to no time to blog, and I’ve decided to use this, my last post, as a counterpoint to my fellow partisan, Charlie Johnson, regarding the ‘virtues’ of Jim Oberweis as a candidate to replace Denny Hastert in the 14th.

First off, let me say that unlike Charlie, I feel no amount of sympathy for Oberweis. His “political mistakes” were not merely the early foibles of a “good, if often frustrated, politician.” They were, more often than not, bitter, negative and highly aggressive (and not to mention expensive) attacks that back-fired. And rather than demonstrating a “learning curve,” his series of unsuccessful campaigns revealed him to be a man looking for a powerful office (any office), not a chance to serve his fellow citizens.

While Oberweis may have had a claim to a “team player” reputation after 2004, he ruined it in 2006. Writing a check and smiling at the unity breakfast did nothing to undo millions of dollars of extremely negative ads smearing the eventual nominee. I’m certainly not saying that Judy would have won if not for Oberweis, but, on balance, what he did to hurt her (and thus the party) far outweighed what he did to “help” after the primary.

Strictly speaking, Charlie is right to say that the 14th district race could play to “all of his strengths and few of his weaknesses.” Unfortunately, Charlie fails to recognize that the few weaknesses that will be exposed are significantly more important than any financial or tactical advantage. Most important, as I alluded to above, is that while Obwerweis was getting his statewide “learning curve” on, Schmitz, Lauzen (and LaVia) were all working hard, serving large constituencies within the 14th district. You’d think that after his multi-million dollar losses to Durkin and Topinka, he would have learned that primary election voters value ‘working your way up' over walking around with a bag of money, hunting or an office to hold.


Anonymous,  9:43 AM  

It is rudderless Republicans like yourself that have made the ILGOP irrelevant in this century. JBT was no Republican it was not Oberweis's money that called primary voters "wingnuts" or openly attack peoplewho are the base of the GOP.
some of us do not subscribe to the "as long as there is a R next to their name" way of voting. Take your milksop republicanism and retire, your time is gone

dan l 10:11 AM  

Good post GOP. I concur completely. The hard right did everything they could to keep Topinka out of office. The payback may very well be a campaign for the 14th being a non-starter.

grand old partisan 10:13 AM  

9:43, I think my posting record shows that I am personally far more conservative than Thompson or Edgar; but it's hard to argue that the state was better off with them in charge than with Blago & Co.

Would I like to see a "true conservative" as Governor of this state? Absolutely. Do I think that's likely to happen? No. The fact is that the "culture war" and "wedge issues" that have helped us nationally over the past 2 decades have HURT us here in Illinois. We are a liberal, blue state, and we need to be practical about things.

If the time of moderate Republicans really is "gone" in Illinois, then I hope you enjoy being governed by Chicago Democrats....because that's what we are going to have for a long, long time.

dan l 10:22 AM  

And he's right. Like it or not.....

Anonymous,  12:17 PM  

This analysis couldn't be more goofy and just plain wrong.

The worst thing Oberweis ever did was eventually endorsing Topinka last year. He had a consistent message of change and reform going until then, when he backslid.

The simple fact is, no one has ever done more to destroy the IL GOP or worked against more good Republicans than Topinka.

And don't even start on who made more stupid comments. That's a road the Topinka toadies don't want to go down. Remember for example how she lumped Blago with the "loser" Cubs right before the election?

Topinka makes Oberweis look like Socrates.

The phony Republican Topinka losing was the best thing that could have happened to the IL GOP. Rebuilding is possible now.

As far as Obe and the Congressional race, this is all moot. Chris Lauzen will be then next Congressman there. Bank on it. And that's a very good thing.

Anonymous,  12:53 PM  

Like her or not, JBT was the last Republican in IL that could actually win a statewide election. One could argue that the Alan Keyes fiasco was far more damaging to the ever-diminishing state GOP than JBT's gubernatorial bid was.

As far as the 14th, my money is on Hastert retiring after the next primary and before the general, with a hand picked successor, which certainly won't be Chris Lauzen, CPA. LCLV will put up a great fight and may pull off the upset here...she is moderate enough to siphon off 20-30% of normal GOP votes.

Dan L 1:05 PM  

The phony Republican Topinka losing was the best thing that could have happened to the IL GOP. Rebuilding is possible now.

It's good that you post without name. It makes it more difficult for people to mock you in the future.

grand old partisan 1:14 PM  

anon 12:17 -

I'm saying Oberweis didn't "backslide" enough to be considered a team player (as Charlie claims he is)....and you think he backslid too far.

Interesting. Even if we disagree on that point, and even if every unflattering thing you said about Topinka is true, I'm not sure how where my analysis is "goofy" or "wrong."

After all, did Oberweis not spend millions of dollars on 3 failed campaigns for 2 different offices? Was his last campaign not based mostly on negative attack ads against the front-runner and eventual nominee? Is is not reasonable to assume that the voters of the 14th District will stick with one of the people who have served them ably already instead of being suckered in by the advertising of a man who simply wants to break into politics, anyway he can?

Anonymous,  6:39 PM  

The single biggest factor that Jim Oberweis has going against him is that Dan Proft will be working for him.

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